|Zebras at River Bend|
|On the path to our cottage at River Bend|
|Giraffes at River Bend|
Thursday, October 20. We got our wake-up call at 5 AM but not by telephone. Rather, there was a knock at the door and there was Joe, himself, with a tray of coffee and muffins. We dressed quickly and were seated in the lodge’s open game drive vehicle at 5:30 AM. Joe was there too, of course, and so was the couple with whom we’d been on the previous evening’s game drive. And they were quite excited to tell us that they’d spotted a black rhino from the verandah of their cottage just moments before.
Now a black rhino is something special: it is an endangered species with only about 4,000 left in the world. Moreover, the rhinoceros is one of the “Big Five” game species that visitors to Africa hope to see (the other four being the elephant, lion, leopard and buffalo). So our immediate goal was to track down and sight that black rhino - and so we did! A great start to the day.
|A black rhino at River Bend|
During the course of the remainder of that morning’s drive, we also saw a pride of lions, innumerable elephants and a herd of buffalo, three of the other four “Big Five” species. So on our very first morning drive, we saw four of the “Big Five” (not to mention any number of more minor game species). All but the leopard - but Joe was pretty confident we’d get to see a leopard too, eventually. Not bad for our first morning drive.
|Lions at River Bend|
|An impasse with an elephant at River Bend|
|African buffalo and their symbiotic friends, the egrets|
|Ostriches guarding a nest at River Bend|
|Our surprise 50th Wedding Anniversary bed covered with rose petals at River Bend...|
|...and our surprise 50th Wedding Anniversary Dinner at River Bend!|